I wouldn’t necessarily rule out the rule changes as rubbish, they could be benifical. I also think the fact that the players aren’t being overly consulted is maybe a good thing. They are the ones most invested in the current rules, but the game has to think of the future too.
But I think other changes would have been better. They have looked at the symptoms and not the disease.
The hand pass and sideline rule were bought in to promote attacking play. But the main thing that stops attacking play is packed defenses. That is what they should have looked at.
As for the mark - that is principally there to stop guys being pulled and dragged when they win a good ball. But the key thing there to fix was the pulling and dragging. The tackle has to be defined, it just has to be!
People will tell you that the tackle is defined in the rules, and they are right. But these rules are ignored. Probably 90% of tackles are illegal. It’s not about consistency, you can’t consistently not apply the rules, that’s a nonsense.
Every arm tug, slap on a guys arms or shoulders, pushing a guy or man handling him in any way is against the rules. That is why we need a mark, if a small skilful guy has the ball and he gets tackled by a big guy, the small guy has no opportunity to use his skill to get out of it. One of the main reasons guys are built up now is to break the tackle (or to apply the tackle). But both of these should not be needed as the tackle shouldn’t be allowed physically restrain the player in possession. The whole idea behind the four steps rule is to make the ball available for tackling, but hardly anyone tackles the ball in this situation. So the whole premise on which guys prepare for the game now is based on an illegal application of the rules.
Basically the whole of the GAA is involved in a mass self delusion that the rules are being applied when the patently aren’t. Part of this is to keep the game ‘manly’. That is rubbish as there is nothing brave about pulling and dragging. There is a whole lot brave about going down on an guys foot when he is playing the ball. But we rarely see it.
Football is a terribly flawed game because no one will take on the tackle. If they did, skilful players would flourish, fouls would lessen and become much less subjective and the game would flow more. Yes, the big arsed corner back would have problems, but he would adapt.
You hear how hurling is let flow (i.e the rules aren’t applied), but that’s not actually true. What has made hurling flow is that about 10 years ago they started enforcing rules and guys learned what they had to do and the game started to naturally flow. The notion that games flow by not enforcing rules is exactly the same as saying that the traffic would flow if traffic rules weren’t enforced.